This is a fun and easy little project to make. I made the main pieces with scrap wood and an old piece of rope. I purchased the wood beads from a craft store but these could have been made from scrap wood blocks as well. The solution is not intuitive so it might be a challenge for your friends and family. See the last step for a solution video.

Step 1: Tools/Materials


  • Saw
  • Drill or Drill Press
  • Drill Bits
  • Sander
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Lighter


  • Wood: (10" x 1.5" x .5")
  • Rope: 1/4" Diameter x 30" Long
  • Wood Beads:
    • Large: 1" Diameter, 3/8" ID
    • Small: 1/2" Dimeter, 1/4" ID
  • Glue

Step 2: Drawing

You will be building two of these pieces.

Step 3: Measure/Mark Wood

I cut the blocks to 5" long. You can make this dimension smaller or larger based off your preference.

Step 4: Cut to Length

Cut two pieces.

Step 5: Mark and Punch Hole Locations

Mark hole locations per the drawing.

Step 6: Drill Holes

Drill 1/2" Diameter Holes per the marks.

Step 7: Small Bead Counter-Bore

I counterbored the small beads to allow a pocket for the knots. This picture shows the top side (counterbore) and bottom side (small hole).

Step 8: Ready to Build

Cut the rope to 14" Long - make two of these. You should now have all the parts to build your puzzle.

Step 9: Gather Pieces for One Section

Step 10: Feed Rope Through Wood As Shown

Step 11: Push Rope Through Large Wood Beads

Step 12: Feed Rope Through Small Bead

I used a lighter to seal the frayed ends of the rope. This allowed the rope to slide through the small hole pretty easy. The counterbore on the small bead should be oriented towards the end of the rope.

Step 13: Tie Knots at the Ends of Rope

Step 14: Cut Off Excess Rope

Step 15: Burn Ends of Rope to Seal

After melting the ends, add a little glue to the beads. Pull the rope into the counterbore of the outer bead.

Step 16: Puzzle Is Ready

Step 17: In Puzzle Form

See the video (next step) to show how to solve it. Reverse the process to get it back in puzzle form.

Step 18: Solution

Enjoy your puzzle!

<p>Nice and easy to made. Thanks</p>
<p>How long have people been taking to solve it?</p>
<p>Hmm, nobody solve it yet without clue :).</p>
<p>Yes it's speaker wire and a bit of spare fence post! I have very little yard/space to work so I am joining the local men's shed so this is a proof of concept! I'm going to make some really nice ones for my kids and their school! Thanks for the inspiration</p>
<p>My youngest (5) is absolutely amazed! I had to show him the solution, but he memorised it very quickly and is now showing mr 6 how its done!</p>
<p>I've had a few co-workers solve it within 30 seconds. I've had others take a lot longer. I think the pressure of someone watching you try to solve it doesn't help. Kinda funny though...</p>
<p>That works...Thanks!</p>
<p>I have a sneaky and devious mind. I recognized the solution from the photo. Think outside the box! Nice job!</p>
<p>Thanks. Yep, some people see the solution instantly while others never get it. </p>
<p>I'm a never get it apparently. At one time I thought I was intelligent. Go figger.</p>
<p>ARRGGHHH..............! Just got the solution.! I feel slow!</p>
<p>Yeah, some people get it instantly. I've had others that still haven't figure it out.</p>
<p>Thanks for a great idea!</p>
<p>You're welcome. It looks good!</p>
<p>Great work and appreciated inspiration. As always puzzles are fun to try. A 3D printed version popped into my head right off. This joins my puzzle drawer cache!</p>
<p>3D print...awesome!</p>
<p>I took it to work today. The average solution time was about 5 minutes. </p>
Very nice :) I couldn't find beads or proper rope, so mine didn't turn out very good, but if you have the materials it's fun to make and fun to solve.
<p>That works :)</p>
<p>Cool !! You can polish the edges and give some tint. I will make mine also :) Great job James!</p>
<p>I had it figured out as soon as I saw the picture.</p><p>I had something very similar in steel!</p><p>Nice job! </p><p>These things are good fun!<br></p>
<p>super, i just bragging to myself, that i already know the secret. ( NOT )</p><p>BUT I WAS WRONG. hahaha i had a pity feeling for a few seconds.</p><p>Conclusion! No outside the box thinking for me i think.</p><p>awesome tricky</p>
<p>I loved it so much, I gathered some stuff at work and made one for my team to figure out. Mine wasn't as elegant, but your instructable inspired me to give it a go. BTW none of them could figure it out....</p><p>Nicely Done !!</p>
<p>Thanks. I haven't had anyone figure it out yet either. Although my only subjects are my kids. I will bring it to work tomorrow. </p>
<p>Very nice and so simple.</p>
<p>Makes a great party game using lengths of string tied loosely to people's wrists. Escape by passing string through loop and over hand as with the hole and bead used in the instructable.</p>
<p>A human version does sound interesting. I could see something like that being used on the TV show Survivor. </p>
<p>That's so simple, yet so cool! The solution is so clever!</p><p>Great Instructable!</p>
<p>Thanks. Both of my kids said &quot;I didn't know I was allowed to push the rope through the hole&quot; once I showed them the solution. My daughter said that's cheating!</p>
<p>The famous illusionist Max Malini said &quot;I only cheat a little&quot;. This is an Instructables for one of his tricks:</p><p><a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/A-parlor-gag-by-Max-Malini/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/A-parlor-gag-by-M...</a></p>
<p>I love these type puzzles. But I have to admit, I didn't take the time to figure it out. I cheated and looked at the video. Nice puzzle build though.</p>
<p>I'm the same way. I won't spend too long trying to figure something out if the solution is one click away :).</p>
I love Puzzles!!! This is AWESOME!!!! Even I posted an instructable on a puzzle I made. Check it out in my profile :-)
this is brilliant, I am gonna make one for a gift, thanks
<p>Thank you. </p>

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to design and build random things.
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